Summer 2018 started out like your typical summer. May saw slightly below average rainfall, and the month of June was right near normal. Then an extended heat wave really dried the region out for the first 2 weeks of July… and then everything changed. We saw a series of upper level low pressure systems get cut off over the northeast. The result was a persistent SE flow off the Atlantic, and day after day of rainfall… heavy at times. This has left parts of the northeast under water, with millions of dollars of flood damage. Hershey Park was left partly under water, a car dealership in NJ saw half its inventory float away, and the issues continue to mount around the region.
So let’s take a look at the rainfall around the Hudson Valley over the last month or two. We’ll start with the rainfall totals for this past Saturday into Sunday, where we saw a good deal of rain on Saturday with the arrival of the latest upper level low pressure system…
You’ll notice that even on Saturday, parts of the Hudson Valley saw upwards of 2 inches of rain. Which could have led to some localized flash flooding… but it looks like most areas escaped unscathed in terms of flooding concerns this weekend. We don’t yet have the stats for Monday’s rain… but surely it will only add to the totals you see above.
But when we step back and take a look at the month of August as a whole, through the 12th… just look at how wet it’s been!
The average monthly rainfall in Poughkeepsie is about 4.2 inches. So the average rainfall for the first 12 days of the month is roughly 1.6 inches of rain. What the region has ACTUALLY seen in those first 12 days, is anywhere from 2 to 4 times the average! Poughkeepsie has seen 5.14 inches of rain so far in August… over 3 times the average so far in August. Widespread 2 to 6 inch totals have been observed across the Hudson Valley… with some localized areas near the Tappan Zee Bridge nearing 8 inches! As you head up into the Catskills, you’re looking at a general 4 to 6 inches of rain… mostly due to elevation enhanced rainfall totals.
But if you REALLY want to be in awe… check out the last 30 days of rainfall in the Hudson Valley…
Just a complete deluge of rainfall across a very large area over the last 30 days. For a region where the average 30 day rainfall is somewhere around 4.4 inches… Poughkeepsie has seen 11.87 inches of rain! And unlike many summer rainfalls, that is not an isolated amount. Look at the widespread area of 10 to 15 inches of rain, represented by the bright purple colors. That’s roughly 3 times the average rainfall over a 30 day period… enough to cause widespread flooding concerns. Ultimately, it’s been so wet over the past 30 days… that any new rainfall immediately causes flood concerns to rise. The ground is completely saturated across the region… so we really could use a break from the rainfall.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Projections have additional dips in the jet stream over the eastern US, which will result in multiple chances of rain.
You can see, that the unsettled conditions don’t appear likely to go away any time soon. We do expect a break for the middle of the week, but multiple fronts are projected to push through the region over the next 10 days… and those could bring additional rain with them. The concern will be for heavy downpours, where heavy rainfall amounts occur in short periods of time. That’s where the greatest threat for Flash Flooding will occur. We’ll have to monitor the situation closely as we move forward.
As wet as this summer has been so far, it’s not unprecedented in the Hudson Valley… not by a long shot. In 2011, in the matter of 10 days, we saw Tropical Storm Irene and Tropical Storm Lee drop 7.1 and 5.6 inches respectively in Poughkeepsie… for a combined 12.7 inches in just 10 days! When we look at the 2 month period, we saw a combined 60 day rainfall of 20.73 inches for the month of August and September, which is roughly a FOOT above average! So while this summer has certainly been soggy… it’s not unheard of.
Hopefully we can get some dry weather to move in over the coming week or two. But if guidance is detecting the pattern correctly… it looks like there will be more rain in the offing, over the remainder of August. Thanks for reading!